I have had timing and tension problems ever since I got the new open toe hopping foot. This hopping foot gives me so much more visualization of my quilting that I will not give it up. The answer has to be to adjust something on my machine. There is a good 1/8 inch difference in length between my old hopping foot and the new one. I think that the difference in height of the hopping foot, although I did lower the shorter one to be the same as the old one, has affected both timing and tension.
I have retimed the machine over and over. It seems all right for awhile and then I start getting skipped stitches. My last re-timing was Monday, and all seems better now than ever. I do believe that having perfect timing also makes for good tension.
The other difference that I have noted is the way the thread comes off the cone. I have always used Aurifil thread almost exclusively. When the thread begins to get low on the spool, both at the bottom of the spool and when there isn’t much thread left on the spool, it seems to stick at times–almost as if the thread was starched when it was wound. I used to always soak the cones of thread with silicone, and I never had tension problems. There was a discussion on MQR yesterday about soaking thread in oil or silicone, so I decided to try the silicone soak again. It completely solved my tension problem.
The discussion on MQR was that Sharon Schamber recommends soaking thread in a light oil. Those who have tried it, really like the solution. It has to be a clear and very light oil, such as the oil used for oiling your longarm machine.
Bottom line (no pun intended), there is a real issue with the thread coming off the cone. When I use Glide thread (a slick, shiny poly), I occasionally get loopies on the back. I can see it happen at the needle as the thread will spring out to the side between the last two thread loops on it’s way to the needle for just a couple of stitches. I dumped a whole cone of Glide into the trash can because I was so frustrated with the loopies (was that wise?). When I use a thread net, it holds the thread too tightly, no matter how much I loosen the tension. And I have the issue of the thread sticking on the Aurifil. I’ve tried everything, but the silicone soak seems to be the best solution for now. Maybe I should try silicone on the Glide. If it is static that is affecting the poly, then silicone should do the trick.